Guided meditation is certainly a buzzword of the 21st century. And, since it’s relatively new to many, guidance may just be the best way to start.
Here are a few reasons why popping in those earbuds and settling in to listen may be worthy of all the rage.
Guided meditation can… help you get started.
Sometimes it’s hard to just sit in silence. Especially when you know your mind will run wild. Things to do, places to be, right?
Guided meditations have a predetermined time and give you small things to focus your attention on. They’re like your personal trainer. When “do your guided meditation” is on your list of things to do for the day instead of “sit in silence” it suddenly becomes more defined and less daunting.
Sometimes the best thing is just to get the ball rolling.
Guided meditation can… teach you.
We all need teachers, right? Especially when something is new to us. Think of that voice oozing through the speakers as someone fully dedicated to supporting you. Meditation can be nebulous and mysterious and it takes a little while to really GET what it is. Guided meditation practices can be doorways to a deeper and more simplified practice.
Guided meditation can… be a rut-buster.
Even if you’re already a seasoned meditator, you undoubtedly still experience the occasional, yet impossible to evade, sense of struggle in your practice. A guided meditation or two added to your repertoire can help get you out of a rut. Your guide may have some helpful tips to snap you back into the moment and inspire you to fly solo.
And speaking of flying solo, here’s where guided meditation starts to fall short.
Guided meditation can also… become a crutch.
Part of the practice of meditation is to actually form the discipline to practice. When you lean too closely on your mp3’s or DVDs, you’re not getting the most of the practice itself.
Just like training wheels on a bike, guided meditations aren’t meant to carry you toward peace and happiness indefinitely. Over time you’re meant to internalize useful suggestions from guides and bring them into your own practice.
The general consensus out there seems to be that you will experience much deeper meditative states on your own than practicing with verbal guidance.
Guided meditation can also… be an illusion.
Verbal guidance doesn’t usher you to the true depths of meditation. Actively listening to someone else’s voice and focusing on something like the breath or a mantra is a method, NOT the meditation itself. Focusing on breath can lead to a meditative state, but it is only in stillness that the true rewards of meditation manifest.